My Fantasy Pick’em: Divisional Round Picks
Our My Fantasy Pick’em weekly column will move onto the playoffs! After a successful 17-week regular season of picks, we crowned one champion of all champions.
After a dull Wild Card weekend in which half of the world fell asleep during the games, we will hopefully have more exciting of football ahead. The teams are better and the matchups are much better on paper—let’s hope it translates to the field.
Brandon Reid was the only one of our NFL writers to have a perfect weekend of picks, going 4-0. Everyone else came in at 3-1, so his lead is not safe.
Brandon Reid: 4-0
Dan Schalk: 3-1
Orlando Torres: 3-1
Jeremy O’Neill: 3-1
Michael Gomez: 3-1
Erion Jordan: 3-1
Here are our picks for the Divisional Round…
Divisional Round Picks
Seahawks at Falcons
Dan Schalk: Atlanta Falcons. I think it will be a close game, but the Seahawks defense isn’t what it once was and they have not performed well on the road. Matt Ryan and the offense will be too much.
Brandon Reid: Atlanta Falcons. This game concerns me a little just because I know Seattle’s D will be ready. Matty Ice will have to keep from throwing picks. I think it’s time for the bad Seattle offense to show up again. I’m not worried about Atlanta being able to outscore Seattle, I’m just worried about them giving up possessions. In my opinion, this is the true test for the Falcons. If they can get past this game, they will fly into the Super Bowl. But we’ll talk more about that next week.
Orlando Torres: Atlanta Falcons. This is just one of the great games we’ll see this weekend. This game can go two ways either be a low scoring game with both defenses not budging giving the other offense problems, or it can be a shoot out. Regardless I think Atlanta pulls out the win at home, and they have more playmakers currently on their offense rather than Seattle.
Jeremy O’Neill: Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta only lost by two points in Seattle earlier in the season and now Seattle is without Earl Thomas.. Atlanta wins with ease in this one.
Michael Gomez: Seattle Seahawks. The Falcons have had a scorching hot offense all season long, but historically Atlanta has fallen apart in the playoffs. Seattle’s defense will have to be at its very best and I have faith that Richard Sherman and crew will step up. Seattle will edge out a hard-fought victory.
Erion Jordan: Atlanta Falcons. This will be a very interesting game. It’s like 2012 all over again where they faced off in the Divisional Round. The pressure is on the Falcons once again to prove they’re for real. Seahawks will not back down from the Falcons offense. Matt Ryan needs to make a statement and prove he is the MVP. He will do it.
Texans at Patriots
Dan Schalk: New England Patriots. Duh
Brandon Reid: New England Patriots. This is my obvious lock of the weekend. Houston is the luckiest team by far in the NFL this year. Lucky to have played in the AFC South. Lucky that Marcus Mariota went down and Jacksonville beat Tennessee in Week 16. Lucky that Derek Carr went down and they got to host a playoff game against a rookie QB that had never taken a snap in the NFL. Their luck runs out this week.
Orlando Torres: New England Patriots. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Houston got their prayers answered last week when they got Connor Cook to kick off wildcard weekend. This week they get the team to beat in the AFC which is the Patriots, and if the Texans can put up more than 17 points it shouldn’t be as embarrassing.
Jeremy O’Neill: New England Patriots. The Patriots beat the Texans 27-0 with Jacoby Brissett as their quartback. Tom Brady will easily win this one I don’t care how good of a defense the Texans have.
Michael Gomez: New England Patriots. This is a no brainer, the only way the Houston Texans win is if all of New England’s starters fall ill and can’t play, then they would still struggle to edge out a win. Look for New England to steamroll their way to the next round.
Erion Jordan: New England Patriots. I can’t imagine Tom Brady losing this game at all. The Texans could play their best game and I still think Pats would find a way to win.
Steelers at Chiefs
Dan Schalk: Kansas City Chiefs. I do like the Chiefs roster as a whole and Alex Smith does not get the credit he deserves as a legitimate quarterback in this league. Oh and Mike Tomlin made a huge mistake keeping his starters in late in the game against Miami. Any time your star QB is in a walking boot, it’s never a good thing.
Brandon Reid: Pittsburgh Steelers. This is the toughest game of the weekend to call. Pittsburgh will be the first and only road team I predict to win in the first two rounds this year. Here is the reason…Kansas City’s rush defense ranked 26th in the regular season this year. The cold weather and crowd is negligible in my opinion. While the Chiefs offense has improved this year, particularly finding the weapon of Tyreek Hill, they are still nowhere near the dynamic range of the Steelers offense. The only caveat to my confidence in this pick is the health of Ben Roethlisberger. He appears to be a full go, so I’m all in on the Steelers pulling off the upset in Arrowhead.
Orlando Torres: Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a tough game to predict. Only because this can go either way, but let me put it this way I think Pittsburgh is better suited to go into New England and pull off an upset rather than the Chiefs. Not saying the Chiefs can’t win this, but at the end of the day Pittsburgh is more loaded offensively to stay consistent on the score board.
Jeremy O’Neill: Pittsburgh Steelers. Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown will be just too much for the Chiefs to stop.The Chiefs offense won’t be able to keep up.. Steelers win.
Michael Gomez: Pittsburgh Steelers. In their last meeting the Steelers made it a laugher. The Chiefs ended their great season on a high note but their losses showed an inconsistency that they can’t afford in the playoffs. If Ben Roethlisberger’s ankle is fine, the Steelers will take their momentum and hit the Chiefs with an all out offensive assault. Look for Bell to have a huge game against the run susceptible Chiefs defense.
Erion Jordan: Kansas City Chiefs. This is the one game I’m very unsure of. Part of me wants to go with Steelers because they have a proven QB and Bell is playing lights out. I still don’t think they’ll beat those Chiefs though who always play with heart. The defense will step up and Hill will make an explosive play someway somehow. I like the Chiefs to barely get by.
Packers at Cowboys
Dan Schalk: Dallas Cowboys. Despite the Packers being the hottest team in the NFL right now, I like the Cowboys to control time of possession and their secondary to handle the Packers receivers without Jordy Nelson. It was a catch.
Brandon Reid: Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys will have to figure out a way to slowdown Aaron Rodgers this week, much like New York did in the first half last week. I think they could have an easier time if there is no Jordy Nelson on the field. It was obvious he at least fractured, if not broke, ribs when he took that hit on Sunday. I don’t look for him to play. Green Bay got extremely lucky they got the Hail Mary at halftime to swing the momentum. I think Dallas is as good as they have been all year, and Green Bay’s magic is about to end on this admirable run.
Orlando Torres: Dallas Cowboys. Sigh yet another hard game to predict. The Packers are going into Dallas red-hot and as long as they have a healthy Aaron Rodgers that’s enough trouble to keep any defense on its heels. Dallas on the other hand should do what it does best and that’s control the clock by feeding Zeke. Of course that’ll only open up the passing attack and the read option from Dak, which I think will be the key to winning the game as Dallas should have no problem taking advantage of a struggling Packers secondary.
Jeremy O’Neill: Green Bay Packers. I think this should be the best game of the weekend and toughest to pick. However, even if Nelson isn’t available I think Rodgers is too locked in and will find a way to win. Also should be interesting to see how the rookies for Cowboys handle their first playoff game, one costly mistake could be the difference.
Michael Gomez: Dallas Cowboys. This game was set to be shoot out, but with Jordy Nelson injured the Packers are missing a key weapon. Dallas’s offensive line is going to be huge here, making lanes for Elliot. Rodgers will be under pressure all game, which will lead to Dallas making some turnovers.
Erion Jordan: Green Bay Packers. The Cowboys have run into the wrong man at the wrong time. Aaron Rodgers is a bad man and he’s looking to end the Cowboys magical season. Dak and Elliot had a great season, but their running into an experienced proven QB. I like the Packers for the upset.
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Dan Schalk @FFSportsTalk
Brandon Reid @New_Breid
Orlando Torres @itslandoyo
Michael Gomez @MichaelGom3
Erion Jordan @ErionJ4595
Jeremy O’Neill @MFSTJeremy
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